In a recent move by the LA Clippers, the franchise signed free agent center Isaiah Hartenstein to a training camp deal. Having drawn a lot of interest from NBA teams such as the Portland Trail Blazers this offseason, we take a look at the German big man and what he can bring to the table.
Isaiah Hartenstein's road to the NBA
Isaiah Hartenstein declared for the NBA Draft in 2017 and was selected 43rd overall by the Houston Rockets. Hartenstein started by playing for the Rio Grande Vipers of the NBA G-League.
In the 2018-19 campaign, Hartenstein recorded his first triple double in the G-League against the Salt Lake City Stars and continued to perform at a high level. His best performance came in the NBA G-League Championship game where scored 33 points and made 8 three-pointers to clinch the series and the championship.
He was also named the NBA G-League MVP. However, after this season, Hartenstein was waived by the Houston Rockets.
Hartenstein joins the Denver Nuggets and his journey since
After being signed by the Denver Nuggets to a multi-year deal, Isaiah Hartenstein was put in a position to spot Nikola Jokic's minutes through the season. However, he only averaged nine minutes a game where he managed to record 3.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Hartenstein was then traded along with two second-round draft picks to the Cleveland Cavaliers in return for Javale McGee. Isaiah Hartenstein was required to cover the minutes of Cavs big man Jarrett Allen.
Over the course of 16 games played for the franchise, Hartenstein showed great upside. He recorded 8.3 points, six rebounds and six assists in 17.9 minutes per game.
After adjusting to the per 36 stats, Hartenstein potentially emerged with 16.6 points and 12 rebounds. Although this is misleading in its own right, Isaiah Hartenstein has shown that he is capable of contributing to the team when given the chance to do so.
How does Hartenstein impact the LA Clippers?
Having made it to the NBA Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history, the LA Clippers certainly achieved an important milestone. However, while making considerations for the potential they had, the end result is underwhelming.
As the LA Clippers continue to fill out and finalize their roster, Isaiah Hartenstein could be a great addition for them. While the LA Clippers already have big men in the form of Ivica Zubac and Serge Ibaka, Hartenstein is a legitimate seven-footer who can clog the paint and is a presence on the defensive end.
He has also shown genuine potential for catching lobs. Hartenstein is very mobile for his size. This puts him in a position to be a capable rim-runner should the LA Clippers require it. At only 23-years-old, there is also massive upside with regards to what he can do given the role he is asked to perform.
Isaiah Hartenstein is expected to compete against Harry Giles for the final roster spot on the LA Clippers roster.